For us at Portola, nothing is more important than those who allow us to exist - the farmer.  They are the lifeline to specialty coffee and we know that without them, we have nothing to be proud of.  This is because quality is born at the farm. It is not produced at the roaster nor created while brewing – it can only be maintained or diminished once it is placed into our hands.  So, for any chance to have a stellar cup of coffee, we must always start with stellar beans, always!

We literally travel to distant lands in search of the very best coffee in existence.  We “cup” thousands of coffees every year to purchase less than 30 of them.  The travel is rarely comfortable and the accommodations are basic.  We are there for coffee.  What we cherish is different.  It is about the people we forge relationships with and the culture in which they belong.  So, the time, effort, and money spent to reach those that we choose to buy coffee from is an investment in these relationships.  They are the foundation of what we consider to be the most important element of our company.

This is very much a symbiotic relationship.  We rely on one another and we intend to uphold our end of the bargain with every coffee we purchase.  We have learned that quality-driven pricing is the key to sustainability.  It is our goal to reward those who commit to quality by paying a premium price for the coffee they produce.  We look for stewards of the environment and people who care about other people.  Sustainability is multi-faceted and we truly believe that good people do good things.  At Portola, those are the producers we want to do business with - and we do.


  • We only commit to establish relationships with producers that share our passion for quality.
  • Sustainability is a must – both socially and environmentally – and each grower must be willing to disclose any and all requested information for verification.
  • We will always pay, at the very least, 25% above the Fair Trade minimum to the grower -- often it exceeds 50%.
  • Our "At Origin" sourcing model is a partnership and we commit to support the producers through education and monetary incentives.
  • .Yearly farm and cooperative visits are a must since this is where we are able to witness conditions and strive to effect change.